Here in the Northeast the arrival of spring is a bit subtler than in other parts of the country. While we're happy that most of the snow has melted, those warmer days and budding flowers still seem far off in the distance.
But if I think about it, maybe we really are closer to that spring weather I'm looking forward to. It has been a long time since I experienced spring and in the meantime we've lived with months of cold and an above average amount of snow. Could it be that my perspective is clouded by four months of gloomy winter?
Clearly, the answer is yes. When I wake up today I heard birds chirping, a sound I didn't hear just a few weeks ago. At the end of the workday the sun is still shining, a welcome change. And I can't forget that a lighter weight jacket has replaced my heavy winter coat.
I believe things are getting better in spite of my perspective!
Could the same thing be happening in your store? Could things be starting to improve a bit in your store? I'm not saying the economy is in a lot better shape (unless of course you were on the AIG bonus list) but is there a chance that your perspective is looking backwards rather than forward.
I recently exchanged emails with a retailer who planned to introduce the theme "We're Not Participating in the Recession" at her annual meeting. While she didn't ask for my opinion, I did share with her an experience I had with that theme.
Late last fall I used the same line in a presentation. Afterwards, a woman came up to me and reminded me that a lot of people don't want to participate in the recession but that hasn't kept them from losing their jobs. While she didn't say so directly I could sense that maybe the recession was hitting home for her whether she wanted it to or not.
From that day forward I quit saying that line. While I know people mean it in a positive way, I can't help but think about this woman and so many others who have been forced to participate in the recession.
In my email exchange with the woman planning her annual meeting I hit upon a better way of rallying her team. We came up with the "Let's Lead the Recovery!" theme.
Isn't that so much more positive? Instead of dwelling on a negative past, "Let's Lead the Recovery" focuses on around creating a positive future. Creating! Taking Action! And it doesn't hurt anyone who may be struggling as a result of the recession.
Perspective can make a difference.
So let me ask, what's your perspective? Are looking forward to a more positive future or are you dwelling on that gloomy past?
Spring's not here yet but it is a lot closer than it was yesterday. Ah, perspective.